MS or Not MS ?

How do you know if symptoms are actually symptoms of MS or just something else. I have been experiancing painful cramps to my feet on a night which often makes me have to get up out of bed they are so painful and my big toe is pulled right up, i have had cramp in my foot before i was diagnosed with MS so is this my MS or not ? how do i know ? x

Hi Jean, Cramp is a very common symptom of MS. Of course, almost everyone will have experienced it sometimes, MS or not, but I’ve found mine have become both more frequent and more severe over the years. I’m in little doubt it’s the MS causing mine - not because it’s a special kind of cramp, but just because it wouldn’t be normal to get cramp this often, this badly, at my age. I’ve got a disease that’s known for causing it, so why would I NOT think it’s related? I know we have to be careful about assuming everything’s always MS, but sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. If you keep getting cramp more than is normal for most people, AND you have a disease that’s known for causing it, don’t you think there’s a connection? In some ways, I would say it almost doesn’t matter what’s causing it. The treatment for cramp is pretty much the same, whether caused by MS or not. You can try all the usual DIY stuff, like stretching exercises, tonic water, magnesium supplements, keeping your feet warm (try bedsocks!). But I had very limited success with any of this, and have ended up on quinine (found in tonic water in small quantities, but I’ve got a proper prescription for it now). I was very hesitant to take it at first, as it has quite a scary list of possible side-effects, including heart arrhythmia, which may lead to death! But eventually, I got desperate enough to give it a go. The cramp has been very much better, and foot pain during the day is reduced too (hinting that it was all a kind of cramp). In fact, the last time I had a really bad night cramp, it turned out I’d forgotten my quinine - so proof it must have been working! Tina x


I tend to put these kinds of sensory/muscle symptoms down to MS- the fact that I didn’t get cramps & spasms before MS is enough logic for me, though obviously that doesn’t apply to you. However, you could speak to your MS nurse to see what they say. Your doctor will be able to prescribe something to help as well, like Baclofen.


Yep, your not alone I got anti spasm drugs but they did not work fro rne at least. Rick

Magnesium supplement is the answer for cramp - and many other problems. lt is recommended that we [ms’ers] take it alongside our vitd3. l think if you google magnesium - ms - more info will come up. lts best taken at night. l take 750mg.